Two members each from Hopkins County-Sulphur Springs Special Crimes Unit and Hopkins County Fire Department recently attended a training session designed to better equip them to handle a major emergency situation. Sgt. Tony Crouse and Lt. Ron Plaxco with SCU and firefighters Caleb Melton and Brian Fairchild last week attended the homeland security training class at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala., the nation’s only federally-chartered weapons of mass destruction training facility. The facility is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management agency.
While geared to teach emergency responders to effectively react to situations involving weapons of mass destruction, the interdisciplinary training is also designed in such a manner that responders should be able to apply what they’ve learned to major disasters which might occur in their area — tornadoes, for example. The course teaches the importance of control and having a response structure so that those tasked with responding know who is in charge of what, who to call for additional aid and resources, and what to do in certain types of situations.
Those participating generally are tasked with working in groups to solve and handle various emergency scenarios using the information presented, as well as prior experience.
Responders attending CDP training are selected from the nation’s 11 million emergency responders. Training at the CDP ensures that responders gain critical skills and confidence to be better prepared to effectively respond to local incidents or potential weapons of mass destruction incidents.
The cost to send the officers and firemen to Alabama, as well as lodging and class fees, is covered by the federal government and offered to the emergency responders at no cost to local agencies. Training is offered to emergency responders from across the nation in 10 disciplines: emergency management, emergency medical services, fire service, governmental administrative, hazardous materials, health care, law enforcement, public health, public safety communications and public works.
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